Sunday Reflection: Words

When my son was around three years old, he was misbehaving, more than usual. It was just one of those days for me. Clearly at my wits end, I said something like this to him. “If you don’t stop behaving badly, I’m going to take you to the grocery store and leave you there.”
Still to this day, I don’t know why I said those words. It was a stupid scene and (obviously) still haunts me.
His face screwed up.  “Don’t leave me,” he sobbed.
Of course I cried, too, and comforted him. We probably comforted each other.
As you may have guessed, I never left him at the store. I’ve never abandoned him, not even when he made bad decisions. He even mentioned, twice as a teenager, how no one came on the scene faster for him than I did.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eats its fruit. Proverbs 18:21(NIV)  
I work daily with children whose caretakers tell them they are worthless. You know what? Those children cannot be convinced otherwise.  
The words we say to others can mean life or death.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NIV
What are the words you say? Are they kind and encouraging? 


  1. The old phrase 'sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me' has always struck me as a cruel lie.
    I wear scars from thoughtless and vicious words, and they still hurt years (sometimes decades) later.
    So I try and be gentle. Even when expressing displeasure.

  2. God spoke the world into existence, which proves how powerful words are.
    It's terrible what some people tell their kids. They don't realize the lasting effect.

  3. Yeah, it is awful what is said to kids by some parents/guardians. Some people shouldn't ever be allowed to have them.

  4. Yeah I was pretty much made to feel worthless by my mother with nonstop criticism, complaints and passive aggressive behaviour. I can't stand the woman. Just my luck she's 88 and still going. She was big on the 'god is punishing you' thing as well.

  5. Yes, there is power of life and death in the tongue -- still we use it so often thoughtlessly. That's why self-talk is so important. How many times have you heard someone making a mistake groan, "I'm an idiot!" Making a mistake does not make you a mistake -- it merely makes you human and in a position to learn from that mistake. :-) Great post as always.

  6. How true. How careful we need to be when speaking to our children. I know I've said things in the past to my children in moments of frustration that have haunted them for years, long after I have forgotten what was said or what the child has done. Hopefully they have forgiven me.

  7. As a parent, I said some crazy things without thought of the impact. Fortunately God and my children changed me.

  8. That is so true. Words are more damaging than a blow to the body sometimes. I always made sure I never told any of my daughters that they were stupid or worthless. I always told them they could do anything they could put their minds to.

    Good post!


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